Reading Trauma: E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Mademoiselle de Scuderi
Friday, October 14, 2022, 10am-12pm
Academic Building, Room 4050 (West Wing)
What happens when one retells memories? What transformations occur in retelling and reexperiencing? And more targeted: When and how can such memories become traumatic? In this seminar, we will discuss the narrative mechanism of traumatic repetition, and we will do so by means of a close reading of short passages by the German Romantic writer E.T.A. Hoffmann from Mademoiselle de Scuderi and The Sandman. Prior exposure to German Romanticism and these texts is not required.
Fritz Breithaupt is Provost Professor at Indiana University in Germanic Studies and Cognitive Science. His research includes German and European literature and philosophy since the 18th century, Goethe, history of money, cognitive approaches to literature, empathy, and narrative thinking. His recent books are The Dark Sides of Empathy (Cornell University Press, 2019) and Das narrative Gehirn/The narrative Brain (Suhrkamp, 2022), the non-fiction book of the month in Germany for August 2022. He is the director of the Experimental Humanities Lab.
This program is funded by a generous endowment from Mrs. Lillian Rodig Maxwell, in memory of her brother, Dr. Oscar R. Rodig, Jr. RC ‘51, who studied Chemistry and German at Rutgers College, and in memory of her sister Erika Rodig Rosera, DC ‘62, who studied History and German at Douglass College.